By Joe Koizumi
In your countries there won’t be, but, in Japan, when there’s a very sensational and attractive undercard, people leave the arena after watching it without seeing the main event. Unlike in Las Vegas, we sometimes see a smaller crowd at the main event (which traditionally takes place in the end of the show here) than at the said undercard.
After sensational rookie Naoya Inoue’s remarkable pro debut, however, there were a couple of very good competitions, so the crowd still stayed at the Korakuen Hall without leaving early for drinking. Unbeaten ex-amateur national champ Ryuji Hara (13-0, 10 KOs), 105, acquired the vacant Japanese national minimumweight belt as he pounded out a unanimous decision (96-94, 97-95 and 97-94) over JBC#2 Kenichi Horikawa (23-11-1, 4 KOs), 105, over ten sizzling rounds on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Ex-national champ Takuya Mitamura renounced his belt and will have an ambitious crack at the WBA interim 105-pound belt against Jesus Silvestre in Tepic, Mexico, on this coming Saturday. JBC#1 contender Hara finely displayed his hit-and-run tactics in the first six rounds to accumulate enough points for a victory, but Horikawa, a veteran campaigner from Osaka, showed his heart and stamina by wildly attacking the shorter winner in the last two sessions. Horikawa was in command just for the last two rounds, which, however, prevented it from being a lopsided affair to give good impression to Horikawa’s many supporters from Osaka.
Hara, a fleet-footed skillful speedster, previously won the national high school championship, and once attempted to be a jockey after passing the strict examination. But he changed his mind to enter the squared circle rather than ride a horse. He kept winning all bouts to seize the national belt in his thirteenth pro bout. Hara, 20, may become stronger if he gains more physical power.
WBA#8 feather contender, ex-OPBF titlist Satoshi Hosono (22-3, 16 KOs), 126, lost the first three rounds, but gradually turned the tide and finally chalked up a come-from-behind TKO win over ex-national 122-pound ruler Rikiya Fukuhara (26-7-1, 19 KOs), 126, at 0:48 of the seventh round in a scheduled eight.
Hosono had been unsuccessful to win the world throne, losing to Poonsawat Kratingdaeng-gym in 2010 and to Celestino Caballero on the very last day of the previous year. He is game and hard-punching, but lacks something important to acquire the world belt. It might be finesse, sharpness or skills. Hosono, in the first three sessions, kept boring in only to absorb good punishment by Fukuhara and we then thought an upset might happen. Hosono, a stout-built banger, shifted his target to the breadbasket, connecting with short but heavy body shots to the footworker. Fukuhara’s foot eventually stopped, and Hosono caught him with a flurry of punches to drop him in the fatal seventh. His furious follow-up prompted the referee’s intervention with the loser’s cornerman tossing the towel at a right time.
Promoter: Ohashi Promotions.